sewing room cat (felis silvestris sutura locus catus)

Taken with the Pen F and 75-300mm II. ISO 1600, 179mm, f/5.9, 1/20 second. I had the lens propped on another piece of furniture when I took this, so it wasn’t totally “hand held.” I tried a few totally hand held, and they turned out OK. But this one was the best of the two, especially when magnified to look at the hair detail. Which just goes to call into question some of the outrageous claims with regards to Olympus hand-held IBIS results I’ve seen around the web with the latest Olympus cameras. Or any other camera for that matter. What Ming Thein calls shot discipline is important for opportunities like this. Particularly the technique side of it, at the top of his list: stability.

Observation: those extra pixels (20 million of ’em) make high ISO photography easier by “filling in” any perceived “gaps” and smoothing out the digital grain that occurs at the higher ISOs. Some want extra megapixels for cropping. I compose to fill the entire frame, and prefer my extra pixels to have better results at high ISO.

I can’t have a specialist lens like the 75-300mm just sitting around in my bag, to only come out in bright light. When I had the original 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 Digital Zuiko zoom, and later the HG 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 Digital Zuiko, I used them quite a bit around the house photographing animals and children. Sensor improvements and IBIS improvements have allowed what might have been a cripplingly slow lens to be quite useful, indoors with low light. It doesn’t hurt to also know your subject, the wily Felis silvestris catus, so that you can be prepared for that “decisive moment.” (ahem)